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Trends Biochem Sci. 2006 Nov;31(11):622-30. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

Argonaute: A scaffold for the function of short regulatory RNAs.

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Section of Structural Biology, Institute of Cancer Research, Chester Beatty Laboratories, 237 Fulham Road, London, SW3 6JB, UK.


Argonaute is the central protein component of RNA-silencing mechanisms. It provides the platform for target-mRNA recognition by short regulatory guide RNA strands and the Slicer catalytic activity for mRNA cleavage in RNA interference. Multiple Argonaute sub-families can be identified phylogenetically yet, despite this diversity, molecular and sequence analyses show that Argonaute proteins share common molecular properties and the capacity to function through a common mechanism. Recently, the members of the Piwi sub-family have been shown to interact with new classes of short regulatory RNAs, Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) and repeat-associated small interfering RNAs (rasiRNAs), which has implications for developmental processes and introduces a new dimension to the field of RNA silencing.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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